Today I want to dream. I want to dream about the Slovak soft hills, the bright green of the forest, the birds singing and the soft ring of the cattle’s bells. I want to dream that I’m not in the city, that I can hear something else than the tram passing and that I can see something else than tourists in the old town.
Yes, let’s dream a little.
Everything about Podpolanie makes you dream: the cheese, the landscape, the music. Sometimes it feels as a jump back in time: the picturesque foothill countryside hides natural beauties, lush forests, streams and mineral sources. Folk culture is still quite visible and Podpolanie is said to be the the place where the Fujara was born.
The traditional Slovak flute, Fujara, takes its name from “fuu”, reminding us of the wind, and “jar” meaning spring. The sound is as poetic as the name… And to finish the picture, imagine the shepherds used carving their Fujara out of wood while the sheep grazed.
The songs are quite melancholic, mostly related to nature, the landscape, the shepherds or their cattle. What a treat it is to go on a hike and hear the melodic and calming sound of a Fujara!
Fujara has 3 holes (vents) but the height of the tone is decided mainly by the strength of in-blown air (as in a flute or a piccolo). Fujara flute is designed to play high up into the overtone series as well as in the lowest bass series with a soft haunting voice. That involves shriller tones by playing “scatter” at the beginning of the song and “whoosh” by overblowing the instrument.
The Fujara is played standing with the instrument held vertically, usually braced against the right thigh and its lengh ranges from 100cm to 200cm.